Gary D. Mikolinski
Communication breakdowns occur in families for many reasons. Family members who have conflicting beliefs and attitudes may simply stop talking to one another.
Family members get so distracted with personal problems and interests that they might neglect each other. Parents can become so involved with their work or social activities that they ignore each other as well as their children. Children can become so involved with school, sports, or peer groups that they don’t have the time or want to make the effort to communicate. As a result parents stop trying because they find that they have very little in common with their children.
The so called “generation gap” occurs when the parents and children have conflicting values and attitudes. What frequently happens is that these conflicts force the family even further apart. Each family member seeks peace and solitude and quietly withdraws. Neither party can relate to the other!
Verbal threats do much more harm than good. They may get the desired behavior but they will probably “turn off” or alienate the children from their parents. Conversely if a child threatens to run away from home when he doesn’t get his way, this may elicit a response of sympathy or anger but it will not establish any meaningful lines of communication. Families that do not communicate live in constant tension or stress.
Sociologists agree that open communication is important for family relations. However, excesses in communication, especially if negative, should he avoided while positive communication should he encouraged.